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Everything posted by Fishwelding

  1. I'm considering building an early, Cold War AH-64 using Monogram's old 1/48th scale kit. But this time around I'd rather not try to clean up Monogram's doughy, sink-marked AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. After some quick investigation, I think this Eduard kit can successfully represent early AGM-114s. Although it looks like I might have to use the Monogram rack and rails. Thoughts? Warnings? Advice?
  2. I have it. I imagine I could cut up bigger cutting mats to replace the little mat on the Chopper II, but I've never had occasion to replace the original. Yes, it uses stock single-edge razor blades. With a fresh blade I've cut up to 1/4" or maybe bigger pieces, but I don't get perfectly perpendicular cuts. I've gotten bigger materials closer to square with a few swipes of file. It saves time over using a knife or razor saw. Where it's most useful to me is quickly cutting larger styrene rods or strips for 1/35 diorama projects, which don't require super-precision. Also handy are the metal angle guides that come with it.
  3. After having a bottle go bad I, too, store mine away from a direct light source. I've had it/used it for over a year now, and so far so good. I don't like products that require special care, but I do like MM's poly as it seems to add strength to finishes.
  4. That GI Joe's "Pit" was located under the U.S. Army Chaplain's Assistant School was ironic and fun. That Fort Wadsworth was a real installation on Staten Island is genuinely surprising. I would have guessed that in the true spirit of the United States Army, GI Joe would be exiled to stationed somewhere south, west, very remote, too humid or too dry, with plenty of poisonous snakes or fire ants. Instead, the Joes pay $5.70 for a cup of coffee.
  5. Reviving this project, although I don't have much spare time, so this will (still) be slow. I built up a bunch of sub-assemblies, and began painting. Most parts are primed, but I'm finishing the cockpit parts before assembling the nose. I wanted some heavy armament of some kind, and wasn't satisfied with various ordinance options from kits. So I cobbled up a set of simple missiles of some sort. They consist of Evergreen styrene shapes with some rocket pod aerodynamic caps from a 1/48 Hasegawa weapons set. I'm building the kit wheels up, with a pair of pilots, so I need a base on which to mount the flying plane. From Amazon, I got some cheap electronics hobby boxes and screws, to build something akin to an avionics module. To add some weight, I epoxied in a bunch of leftover cheap hardware and some BBs. (You buy a light fixture, shelving brackets, or even a TV mount, and they give you soft-metal screws. If it has to be sturdy, I replace those.) I made a base like this before, on a previous project, but the finished base was a bit too big and sort of upstages the model airplane. So I'm using a smaller box this time.
  6. Most of us aren't practicing handwashing, social distancing, and other tactics directed by medical practitioners to save ourselves from dying. We're doing it because: We have friends and family in higher-risk categories, and we don't want to lose them, or see them suffer a life-changing medical emergency. We don't wish to see our healthcare systems overwhelmed with cases, such that people can't undergo proper treatment for COVID 19 or other, unrelated medical problems. This isn't hysteria because if we aren't personally at risk of dying from COVID 19 complications, for people we know COVID 19 is a greater risk than common strains of flu. That is, we care about other people. As for the hoarding? If it's irrational, it is a self-perpetuating cycle where things seem more disastrous, and then because of panic, become so. When I was at the supermarket this morning, I saw as many people just trying to do their weekly shopping, but whom were scared and depressed at seeing the aftermath of panic. I exchanged jokes with those I could, and with employees. ("Notice how nobody hoards vegetables, or low-sodium options, even those that last for weeks?") I also think that, with so many Americans' retirement income dependent on publicly-traded investments over which they have zero influence, the stock markets' behaviors have as much to do with peoples' hysterical behavior. That, too, might be considered a public health problem. All that said, it is pretty awesome to have a hobby that can withstand "social distancing," although the phrase is a bit misplaced, when one considers how lively message boards such as this one can be.
  7. My work was on PRCo, Pittsburgh's version. But when it came time to bribe the Pennsylvania Public Service Commission, Philadelphia's crew outdid everyone else. Truly an A-level act.
  8. "More base for ya face," as Mike D comments.
  9. Younger people have no idea what that means. They will think you mean some commuter train in the Philly area that was discontinued for lack of ridership. Plus, the reason Pactra worked so well was probably due to some ingredient like lead or mercury. Man, those paints in the twentieth century were awesome. They stayed on, took a beating, and made you smile when you breathed the fumes. But like x-ray machines in shoe stores, radium in wristwatches, cigarettes, strategic bombing, Lake Erie, Kentucky Fried Chicken, and Chernobyl, you really gotta to chuckle at their toxicological blasé.
  10. Maybe the environmental and health regulatory issues matter, but Ammo, AK, and others sell what we call "enamel" products, available around the world. These aren't paints in the traditional sense, but instead are things like washes, textured mixes, and even thicker "oil" paints. They even sell thinners for these. Perhaps they will now produce traditional paints if Testors, or its parent, appears to be disinvesting. And of course, if they're a worthwhile market for them. Apart from the fact that acrylics have gotten much better in the past 30 years (I remember the old days,) I think these enamel products are related to why acrylics are now used by so many people: if you want to use these weathering products, you can do so with greater confidence and fewer steps applying them over water- or alcohol-based paints that are resistant to things like mineral or white spirits. Regarding toxicity, lacquers and acrylic-lacquers have proliferated. Testors half-heartedly produced some lacquer colors, and I don't know if even these few are available anymore. I found their lacquer primer to be too aggressive for plastic; Mr. Surfacer is a better product. But you can surely kill yourself breathing Mr. Color fumes just as effectively as MM Enamel. If Testors finally goes away, I'll miss their enamels, and their acrylics, too. But I won't be surprised. Perhaps if they had produced more innovative products, or made more aggressive efforts to reach audiences other than people like me, they'd be in better shape. As I suggested above, I feel the same way about Revell USA. They essentially ignored the growth of Armor modeling, which was a huge pass. I love me some World War II planes, to be sure, but maybe supplying me with a PV-1 Ventura was less of a good business move, when Japanese companies seem to be making global money on science fiction subjects that younger people dig. Gosh, what if Revell had continued their experiment with Halo, and made a line of kits from video game franchises like Mass Effect, or Fallout? And then Testors could have produced dedicated paint and weathering sets specifically labeled for these games, too! Like Bandai's Star Wars line, they may have introduced the hobby to people who didn't know it existed.
  11. Testors YouTube channel is weak. Compare that with some of the newer brands. And I don't see their products as often as I do Japanese, Mediterranean, and Eastern European brands on the more polished build videos done by the YouTube regulars. However you feel about YouTube, that seems kind of important. Because that's probably how a lot people who don't yet build models discover the hobby. They also seem weak, late, or absent from whole product categories, like weathering stuff for armor, special chemicals for painting figures, or innovative masking products. I'd really like a glaze and retarder to try MM Acryl on figures, but I'd rather not have to experiment with Liquitex or some other brand that may or may not be compatible. I've been a loyal Testors (particularly "enamels) customer, but I've wondered if American brands like Testors and Revell USA really tried hard enough to develop their brands, messaging, and products for changing markets. Compared to the revival of all kinds of geek culture and brands in the USA their misery, and the decline in military plastic modeling in the USA, seems a tad self-inflicted.
  12. Early Summer, 1987: Tuesday Afternoon Maneuvers on the Steppe. For years, I'd seen diorama, wargaming, and model railroad people talk up static grass applicator tools. I admit, I was skeptical about having a single-purpose tool for applying static grass. And unless you build your own, they're not typically cheap. But having tried one, I'm convinced. This is in 1/35 scale, with various sizes of grass. The longest is 12mm. I also added some Noch leaf products to represent various weeds, too. I'm not entirely happy with the total scene, as I'd like to see more dense coverage at the edges. In future I'll experiment with different colors and lengths of static grass, too. I used a water/Mod Podge combination to adhere the grass, and Mission Models' Polyurethane Intermix, properly thinned, to attach Noch leaves. Next time I will experiment with the MM Poly for all foliage. Since that intermix has a short shelf life, relative to paints, this is a good way to get value from it if I use MM paints. The BMP is ESCI's old kit. (The project was also to test Ammo paints, which generally worked well, too.) Now compare it with an earlier project (more pics here) where I just sprinkled the same grass product by hand:
  13. That's impressive work! It looks like you had pretty good control for shading with that stuff, which I find is a challenge with acrylics. Based on your comment I have some Hataka Orange Line MERDC colors coming in the mail. The only lacquers I've used (besides Alclad, I suppose) is Gunze. I'll be interested to compare the two lines.
  14. In my first tape tests, both the paint itself, and clearcoat resist tearing or peeling with full-strength Tamiya tape. This is over One Shot primer. The gloss varnish seems eager to run, but then dried with a slight pebble texture. It wanted to gloss up fairly quickly, without having to build it up. For decaling and wash purposes it's adequate, and I suspect that if I really tried different spraying methods I might get it smoother. (I probably won't; if I'm painting a car model I'd use different products anyway.) Where it did run, it shrank as it set up, and will probably be invisible without sanding it down, after I apply more (matte, this time) varnish. This BMP will endure strong decals sets, some washing with white spirits, and probably some other chemicals before finishing, so testing continues. Rarely do I have a perfect experience with a new paint. But I like what I see, and will continue experimenting with Ammo. Maybe I'll mess around with their older primer, too, just to see if I can get good results with different pressure and mixture regimes. To the original poster, some suggestions: If you haven't one, consider purchasing a mac valve for your airbrush. I suspect many modelers are like me, and probably use a pressure gauge that's really meant for larger air tools. Down below 25 PSI it's probably a bit vague. That mac valve can give you precise control over your air pressure, and you quickly acquire a feel for how to use it. It's improved my airbrushing a lot, particularly with water- or alcohol-based paints ("acrylics.") Take the needle guard off the front of the brush. I think with quick-drying paints, particularly, it can introduce dried paint into the air stream that can accelerate needle tip-drying and can interfere with atomization. The Ammo colors I used did not require thinning. But if you want to try it, I suggest starting with Ammo's own thinner. In the last few years I've been methodically tested a variety of paints. In each case, I buy at least one bottle of the manufacturer's thinner. If things go badly, it isn't because I tried some non-recommended thinner. If the paint works well, I'll then introduce different thinners (ISO, distilled water) to compare with OEM. Check YouTube for tutorials. It seems most of the "Millennial" manufacturers have created tutorials there to show you how to use their products. Your mileage may vary; if it's a dry season in Spain, that's nothing like mid-Atlantic U.S. where our humidity will influence paint. But still, start with what they say and experiment from there.
  15. What I wouldn't mind knowing is what the behavioral difference is between One Shot primer, and Ammo's other primer line. Is the other primer somehow different than One Shot, so that Ammo sells both simultaneously? I bought a bottle of that primer - in Russian Armor green, no less - but elected to try the One Shot stuff first, since I'd heard good things about it.
  16. It happens that I'm experimenting with Ammo paints for the first time this week. (I threw together an old ESCI BMP-2 to test 'em.) I use an Iwata Eclipse HP-CS (gravity feed) with the .5mm needle/tip. One Shot primer went on beautifully, and was a breeze to airbrush. I use a mac valve to fine-tune at low pressures, so I was probably around 15 PSI. It should appear wet on the model, and if you live in a humid climate (I do) it make take more than a minute to flash over, but it doesn't run easily and shrinks down nicely. It dries to the touch in a few minutes, but even after two days was not particularly hard, and I was able to scratch it off with light fingernail pressure. The paint went on well, but it seems tricky. It requires no thinning, but I found it dried in my airbrush tip, a problem I haven't experienced with paint (Vallejo, Acryl/Model Master, Mission Models) in a while. Early I saw odd fish-eyes, but they disappeared after another pass or two. Coverage was excellent, but as Napalmakita suggests, it really requires multiple passes. I could spray it in tight lines, and in single passes it's fantastic for blending and shading, but it didn't atomize quite as nicely as I'd like. It was very tolerant if I sprayed on too much. A pool of paint blended perfectly with surrounding paint, rather than leave a visible tide mark, but if I had done that on a vertical surface I may have suffered a run. I'll give it a few days to cure, and then will try a masking tape test. I won't use paints that do not endure Tamiya tape, so that's a major test for me. My next airbrush test will be around 20 PSI, although with other acrylics I tend to have trouble where the paint dries before adhering, when shot at higher pressure. Still, I hope this will improve atomization and stop the tip-drying issue. I'll need to put together another test subject to do that, though. I was even able to brush paint the mantlet cover with an Ammo color, although I let it dry on a palette for awhile before attempting it, and other colors probably require multiple coats.
  17. The pitch: 1. Carry out a series of armed robberies in the Retail DIY sector. 2. Develop and implement a Zombie Apocalypse. The investors: The guys who backed Theranos.
  18. Quite apart from the ethics of the thing are the practical problems. If you plan an armed robbery of your average Lowe's store, and they don't happen to have much cash in the service desk register, you're really at pains to find something to take in a hurry. You probably don't have time to wheel the getaway car around and load in something of any substantial street value, such as a gas grill, snow blower, deck furniture, bags of mulch, or road salt. And even if that is your ill-considered plan, if your getaway car is a van or pickup truck, well, you're missing the point of "getaway car." So you are left with grabbing whatever's handy at the front end - LED flashlights, tape measures, candy, watch batteries, cheap pocket multi-tools, carabiners, miniature cans of WD-40, small bungee tie-downs, possibly a few drill or driver bit sets, maybe a five-gallon bucket to carry it all in, and, well, I suppose you could demand the employees give you their aprons. As a felony, it just doesn't seem like a good investment.
  19. I think AFV Club has made noises like they would produce a MIM-14 -Herc, too. The key is producing an accurate launcher, since the Revell launcher is semi fictional. If either or both companies do the above, I'll pay a high price for the kit. Meantime, I'll relegate my Revell kit parts to science fiction builds.
  20. I suppose it's more efficient that beginning a new thread to hash out an old discussion again. I wonder how many of us do not chase realism so much, as we do other artistic qualities. For car modelers, I'm under the impression that they are often trying to create a near-perfect replica that is acknowledged to be an ideal replica, with flawless workmanship, instead of something that, if photographed properly, would look like a real motor vehicle. This is the basis for ship modeling where crew, water, and weathering are not to be seen, and the ship is mounted to a block of wood instead. This pursuit is a real challenge, especially considering how unforgiving gloss finishes, chrome, and other aspects of car modeling can be. Occasionally aircraft modelers do this, too.
  21. So now this Marie Kondo is the new self-help industry sensation. She teaches people how to adopt a Japanese-culture-inspired minimalist life: let go of non-essential possessions, minimize clutter, and so on. Kondo sounds like she's just who I need to help me reign in my bloated model- and model-supply stash. But I kinda feel Japan is largely responsible for the mess I'm in now. I've probably personally bankrolled a bullet-train line just through Tamiya, Hasegawa, and Gunze yen alone.
  22. At least some of us have been diagnosed with something like ADHD, or would have been had it been a thing when we were younger. We struggle to organize and stick to a plan on complicated projects. Writing things down, especially checklists, is a tactic to overcome this personality feature. (It's a good tactic for anyone, really, and is a tradition in many professions.) This prevents us from suffering nuisances like painting and masking in the wrong order, or worse, gluing canopies on before control sticks or ejection seats are in place. I've learned that if I at least jot down a checklist (well, in Evernote, anyway) I avoid bitter mistakes that really stall a build. Writing is thinking, so I not only create a forget-proof list, I usually do a better job considering alternative ways to complete the build, too. Similarly, logging work that I've done helps me remember how to do things successfully. Just the other day I sprayed some Alclad primer onto a model, and it came out fuzzy. Previously I figured out (probably air pressure change) how to get it to lay down smooth consistently, but I didn't write down how I did it. So I now probably need to experiment with it again. Of course, one needs to review such notes. Yes, it's more work. But the alternative for us is more frustration.
  23. That's bananas! You're diving from low to ridiculously low altitude while attacking some probably very dangerous people on the ground, and you're fishing around your cockpit for for the rocket release. If it wasn't for the very real production priorities you cite, we'd think it was sheer spite. This is an ideal thread: amazing build, with lots of historical context. Threads like these are why text-and-image message boards can still be awesome in 2018.
  24. Well, they're not the first furniture maker to sell absurdly priced chairs that look terrifyingly uncomfortable.
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